Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Found this story while surfing this morning. Good for a laugh. Beware the French Quarter for more than pick pockets!
My office is a few blocks from the French Quarter and I either drive through the Quarter or right along side it when I go to work. On weekends I sometimes go to my office early in the morning and stop in the French Quarter on the way just to walk around and take a few shots. The lighting is usually nice in the morning and the place isn't congested with tourists.
Last Sturday morning I was wandering around the flea market area where vendors were setting up their stands. I had a couple of shots left on a roll, so to finish off the roll I took a couple of snaps of a puppy that a guy had left tied to police barricade on the street. The guy came over and aggressively asked if I had taken a picture of his dog. I asked him, "What if I did?" The guy went postal, ranting about owning the copyright to any pictures of his dog, and started giving me a rash of sh*t. I calmly stood my ground and told him that in a public place such as on a public street it's okay to take pictures of just about anything. Apparently he thought I was a tourist because he noticed the Yankees cap I was wearing and made some disparaging remarks about me being from New York. I didn't say anything. Sometimes street performers, shoe shine guys and other Quarter characters try to hustle tourists to give them money if they take their pictures, so I thought maybe this guy just wanted money. But he kept it up and was becoming more and nore aggressive. I was still just standing there changing my film. When he said I was lucky that he didn't break my camera I suggested that we call a policeman over and that he would settle it. Then the guy backed off and sulked away.
Fast forward to this morning. On my way to the office I stopped in the Quarter and walked around a little with my camera. I was walking on a narrow sidewalk when a guy came out of a little convenience store just as I was passing by. We almost bumped into each, we both said "excuse me", and stood there face to face. It was the same guy from last Staurday. I saw him look up at the NY logo on my Yankees cap and he recognized me from last Saturday. He asked "Are you really from New York?" I said "No, I from here."
Without acknowledging anything that had happened before he said, "You ought to come to the Barkus parade this afternoon... I'm getting married." The Krewe of Barkus is a Mardi Gras dog parade. Before the parade starts at Congo Square there is dog costume contest and it's like a festival, with food and drinks and such. My wife and I try to go every year. It is very funny and we usually meet a lot of nice people there.
Anyway, I told the guy that I try to go to Barkus every year. He said "Yea, but I only get married every five or ten years... and my dog is going to be my best man."
Just to be sure it was the same guy I asked "Are you the same guy who gave me all that sh*t last week about taking a picture of your dog?" He laughed and said yes, he was... then he added that he had looked up the law and that I was right, that I could take pictures of his dog on a public street.
So I assured him I would be there at Barkus and would take pictures of his wedding and we left as good buddies. Crazy, huh?
Thanks Dennis!Sphere: Related Content
Saturday, March 29, 2008
This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania.
SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; LycomingCounty
Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:
Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.
The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..
We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.
Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:
Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County
Dear Mr. Price,
Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to. I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.
A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructingand maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris."
I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.
These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.
My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?
If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.
(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)
I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.
If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.
In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).
So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.
In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!
Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.
& THE DAM BEAVERS Sphere: Related Content